Biden Is Failing the Yard Sign Test

Dr. Munr Kazmir
4 min readOct 15, 2020

If Biden is so far ahead in the race, where is the enthusiasm?

A supporter at a phone bank at former Vice President of the United States Joe Biden’s presidential campaign office in Des Moines, Iowa. January 13, 2020. (photo: Gage Skidmore)

In 2016, former U.S. President Bill Clinton- who, whatever his faults, knows a few things about electoral politics- warned his wonkish wife and her army of poll data-crunching campaign aides that they were missing a reliable metric of candidate popularity in an election year; the bumper sticker test, the yard sign test.

Bill Clinton wanted the Hillary Clinton campaign machine on the ground in swing states and districts.

Bill Clinton, and others, warned Democrats, and pollsters, in 2016 that Trump signs were far more common outside major metropolitan areas than the polls might suggest. In major battleground states across the country, Democrats in leadership at the state and local levels were raising alarm bells about similar trends in their own areas.

Everywhere Democrats in swing districts looked in 2016, they saw Trump signs. Far more Trump signs than Hillary Clinton signs.

An unscientific examination, to be sure. But if it is any indicator of the popularity of a candidate in 2020, Joe Biden may be running in third place behind Donald Trump and “Firewood for Sale”.

Bike 17 miles from a liberal Maryland suburb to the U.S. Capitol Building and you might only count six Biden signs. Drive 6 hours from D.C. straight into the heart of rural Virginia and the landscape is papered over with Trump signs; huge, and tiny, handmade and made-in-China; with nary a Biden sign in sight.

In 2020, as in 2016, Donald Trump has the enthusiasm.

MAGA visibility is making Democrats nervous,” laments the New Yorker, with fewer than 20 days left to go before the election. Perhaps nervous Democrats have a point.

Witness the scene in Nevada a few weeks ago. Or the scene in Florida at a Trump “peaceful protest” this week in Florida.

“MAGA visibility” is showing up in the ranks of new voter registrations across the country as well, most especially in battleground states and swing districts.

In bellwether Luzerne County Pennsylvania, Republicans have registered 12,000 news voters since 2016. Democrats in Luzerne have lost over 1,000. Since 2016, the state Senator who represents…